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Fred names two Manchester United players who could play key roles vs Barcelona

Fred names two Manchester United players who could play key roles vs Barcelona

Fred believes that Raphael Varane and Casemiro’s prior experience playing against Barcelona will increase Manchester United’s chances of defeating the Spanish giants in their highly anticipated Europa League quarterfinal match.

 Manchester United last clashed with the Spanish giants in April 2019, and they will face the Catalan side in the first leg at Camp Nou on Thursday evening before hosting them in the second leg at Old Trafford the following week. 

United finished second in their Europa League group, forcing them into the unwelcome play-off round, whereas Barcelona was eliminated in the first round of the Champions League.

The two clubs are among the favorites to go all the way in the Europa League this season, so the winner’s chances of advancing to the final will be significantly increased. 

The Europa League provides United with a realistic opportunity to end their trophy drought this year.

Although Erik ten Hag’s side will be without Lisandro Martinez for the first leg in Spain due to suspension, Casemiro will be available for selection after missing the Reds’ last two Premier League matches due to suspension. This will significantly boost Liverpool’s chances of advancing.

And Fred has identified his compatriot as well as Varane as players who could make the difference, citing their experience facing Barcelona during their time at Real Madrid.

Fred, speaking to United’s club website, said: “I think both, Rapha [Varane] and Case [Casemiro], [David] De Gea as well, have a lot of games against Barcelona. So, we have a lot of players that have good experience, so I think it can be a difference inside the pitch. Like I say, everyone will try our best to win this game.”

United will enter the two-legged matchup buoyed by a strong run of form over the past few months, but Barcelona is also on a tear.

They are undefeated in their last 16 games across all competitions, dating back to a 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League in October, and have won 11 consecutive games.

“We expect it is a difficult game, everyone knows about Barcelona, we need [to be] careful, but it’s [the] Europa League, we need to win both games and we need to pass this phase,” Fred added. “Both teams are improving right now, constructing good things.

“So, I think the fans can expect a big game, both teams trying to play, both teams trying to score goals and I hope, in the end, we win.”

Fred names two Manchester United players who could play key roles vs Barcelona

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